I haven't posted in ages! Partly it's because so much is happening for me, at the moment. But also, I've been working a lot on are.na recently. A friend introduced me to the platform over the summer, when we were at an online writing residency together - and I've found it such a useful way of keeping track of all the quotes, images, and influences that are going into the foundational stage of my second book.
I'm an extremely obsessive person by nature - as well as a really slow digester/processor/metaboliser, who spends a good chunk of every day thinking about things that happened ten or fifteen or twenty years ago. This is probably why I enjoy writing memoir so much - or rather, need to write it to stay plugged in. Anyway, the thing is that when I'm working on a project, I feel like I start seeing parts of it in every single text I watch or read - the outside world pretty much ends up conforming to whatever's going on inside my brain. And are.na is perfect for keeping track of the ways in which that happens - the ways in which the external world can morph or shapeshift, to elucidate concerns I don't have the exact words or knowledge for yet.
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the role played by the other in my creative process. "The Other", I guess - I feel weird capitalising it like this, but this is what I mean, in the Lacanian (?) sense of the term. I wrote The Story Game more or less within the constraints of my own mind - and to some extent, within the constraints of my own referential system. And the book needed that - it wanted it, because it was an exploration of the coping mechanisms a person can come up with to deal with extreme loneliness. But this new book - this second book - I think it wants something else. It wants an Other in a different way than the first book did. Something like... it needs other people in order to be written, in order to find its way. It needs that feeling that working on are.na gives me - "my mind is everything, my mind is the whole world". But it also needs something else - something that comes from the outside to unsettle the inside, in the way that a single line of dialogue from another person can instantaneously unsettle the entire world of assumptions you've built up inside your own head, about who they are and what they want.
I don't really know where I'm going with this, or what it'll lead to. But I feel like it's worth recording the feeling here so that I can look back on it in the future.